Alpha Phi Foundation Announces Publication of New History Book

by Alpha Phi Foundation in Press Release

Alpha Phi International Fraternity: The First Fifty Years (1872-1922), Union Hand in Hand

Evanston, IL – October 17, 2013 – The Evanston–based Alpha Phi Foundation announced today the publication of Alpha Phi International Fraternity: The First Fifty Years (1872-1922), Union Hand in Hand, the first in a three-volume series documenting Alpha Phi’s rich history authored by Foundation archivist Jenny Thompson.

The purpose of this project is to capture the extraordinary determination and willingness of generations of women who believed in higher education, the value of equality, identity and the prerogative to manage their own lives.

This first volume has been four years in the making. The stories of Alpha Phi’s Founders and other early members beautifully come to life through the words of Thompson. She tells of their hard work, commitment to education and desire to connect with and support women that has shaped a sisterhood that continues to thrive today on campuses, in chapters and in communities all across North America.

Thompson currently serves as Director of Education at the Evanston History Center and as a consultant on public history projects. She has worked as the archivist for Alpha Phi Foundation since 2007. Her publications include War Games: Inside the World of 20th Century War Reenactors (Smithsonian), My Hut: A Memoir of a YMCA Volunteer in World War One (editor), and Evanston: A Tour Through the City’s History (editor). Her essays and reviews have appeared in various anthologies and publications, including The New York Times.

About this book, Thompson said, “Working on this history of Alpha Phi has been a fascinating experience. This history of Alpha Phi is comprised of so many inspiring and interesting stories about the women who founded, supported, and shaped the organization. Their stories not only reveal their incredible accomplishments, but also the many challenges they faced. I hope that readers of this new history will find inspiration in their work and experiences.”

Volume one was made possible in large part due to the generosity of alumna Kathleen Feeney Hiemstra (Delta Theta-Western Michigan) whose lead gift inspired others to invest in this project. “Kathy’s generosity and belief that Alpha Phi’s history is one of the Fraternity’s greatest assets made this project possible,” said Foundation Executive Director Ann Carstensen.

The book is available for sale ($50 per copy) online at Bulk orders also available by contacting Meagan Spellman at All proceeds from book sales will benefit the heritage programs of Alpha Phi International Fraternity, which are funded and managed by Alpha Phi Foundation.

Download the press release

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